Jeff Hanson – Madam Owl

January 01, 1970

(Kill Rock Stars)


To repeat a comment frequently made by those who encounter
Jeff Hanson for the first time: this dude sounds like a lady.  With due credit to Aerosmith, nothing’s
closer to the truth, and it speaks to Hanson’s continuing misfortune that
that’s all anyone focuses on, at least during an initial encounter.


Hanson’s not going to shake that impression this third time
out, and one still wonders what spurs his feminine phrasing.  However, the loveliness of Hanson’s material
demands a closer listen, given the nimble folk-finesse imbued in each of these
offerings. With strings and the steady strum of an acoustic guitar providing
quiet accompaniment, Hanson’s voice melds assurance and affirmation to a
subdued set of songs.  The gentle ramble
of “Night,” the combination of baroque orchestration and supple ambiance
gracing “Your Only Son” and the meditative glance of “Maryann” and “Nothing
Would Matter At All” create a salve for the senses. Skeptics can be assured
he’s not another emasculated emo type prone to a perpetual downward glance –
although admittedly, songs like “Wrong Again and “No Never Mind” could argue
otherwise — but rather an artist more prone to optimistic assessment, albeit
it with a dewy eyed, heavy lidded gaze. 


“I wonder what I can do for a living/Something that makes
you all proud/But won’t keep me up at night,” he muses on “Nothing Would Matter
At All.”  If Madam Owl is any indication, he can doze off and feel


Standout Tracks: “Night” “The Hills,” “Wrong Again” LEE ZIMMERMAN




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